The United Kingdom will extend a ban on travelers from southern African countries entering England in a measure to curb the spread of a new COVID-19 variant identified in South Africa.
The British government announced the decision on Thursday. The restriction takes effect on Saturday and will remain in place for two weeks.
UK’s Department for Transport said that “Entry into England will be banned to those who have traveled from or through any southern African country in the last 10 days, including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique and Angola – as well as Seychelles and Mauritius.”
Travelers from those locations have until 4 am Saturday to reach England in order to escape the ban.
The UK had previously said it had temporarily banned the entry of passengers to England arriving from South Africa from Dec. 24, excluding British and Irish Nationals, visa holders and permanent residents, who will be able to enter but are required to self-isolate for 10 days.
Britain has been among the countries worst-hit by COVID-19, and its economy suffered the sharpest contraction of any in the Group of Seven during the first wave of infections last spring.